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  • Henry Park

McDonalds v. Supermac's

David v. Goliath.

The Irish burger chain Supermac's took on the international behemoth McDonald's and won (see Guardian link). McDonald's had been using its BIG MAC trademark to block the expansion of Supermac's. So Supermac's challenged the validity of McDonald's BIG MAC trademark on the ground that the trademark had not actually been used in the prior five years. The EU IPO Cancellation Division agreed and cancelled the trademark (see Decision, hosted on

The Cancellation Division examined the evidence submitted by McDonalds concerning the use of the BIG MAC trademark and determined that it was insufficient "to prove that the EUTM was genuinely used in the relevant territory during the relevant period of time" (Decision at 7). In rendering its decision, the Cancellation Division provided some guidance concerning the evidence to support a finding of use.

1. Affidavits submitted by representatives/employees of the trademark holder are disfavored.

2. Where evidence is submitted via representatives/employees in affidavits, it needs to be corroborated by other evidence.

3. If you are submitting website evidence, you should submit information relating to internet traffic, number of hits to the website, number of hits to the evidence page, and possibly the countries accessing the webpage.

4. If you are submitting website evidence for a good, it should show how a purchase could be made or an order placed.

5. If you are submitting packaging materials, you should provide information showing how many products were actually sold using the packaging.

6. Don't submit Wikipedia entries.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels

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